Luna Masterplan Södertälje, Sweden

Declan Walker

Alison Brooks Architects, alongside BAU Architects, was shortlisted in the retrofit masterplan of the Luna block in Södertälje, Sweden.

The project was commissioned by Telge Properties to reimagine a new civic centre for the Luna Quarter. The goal was to reintegrate the area with the city’s historic fabric and transform it into a social and economic platform that benefits all of Södertälje’s communities. The Luna Quarter lacked integration with the city’s historic urban grain and its scenic location on the Mälarens confluence into the Baltic Sea. The competition task was to develop architectural principles for sustainable building, public spaces as well as commercial and residential units. The challenges included addressing significant height differences, respecting culturally important buildings, and utilizing existing structures.

The concept of weaving became the unifying design approach, interweaving bold ideas into the existing structures rather than demolishing them entirely. The urban approach of carving up of new pathways, nodes, and landmarks allowed different elements to come together, much like ships carrying cargo from distant lands and mingling at the steps of the Mälarens port. The singular Luna modernist concrete blocks from the 70s were transformed into a permeable and civic Luna Quarter.

Mass timber was chosen as the primary building material, allowing structural gymnastics within the existing concrete structures present. Approximately 80% of the concrete was retained, significantly reducing the embodied carbon output of the proposal. A double-height timber framed volume cantilevering over Stortorget emerged from a new façade featuring a woven patterned brick and glass. This volume housed a café and provided a ‘Room Over the City’ with viewpoints overlooking the proposed library terrace.

The central residential tower, adorned with teal-colored ceramic tiles, celebrated the ‘kakelugnar’ tiling tradition of the area. This continuity of cultural language is a fundamental aspect of Alison Brooks Architects’ practice, like their work on the award-winning Exeter College Cohen Quad in Oxford, where they invoked the work both of William Morris and the lead neo-gothic chapel spire of Exeter College through stainless steel roofing shingles. The studio prioritizes the programmatic, cultural and historical context in all the work that they do.

Telge Properties
BAU Stockholm
LARK Landscape Architect
Circular Sustainability Consultant
Linn Lindfred